Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ear Problems

Last September, on our flight back to Tennessee from Utah, my head nearly exploded. That sounds like hyperbole, and it is, a little. So if you said, "That sounds like hyperbole to me," then good job. I congratulate you on even knowing that word.

Back to the story. My head nearly exploded on the airplane. My ears wouldn't pop and when they finally did, I thought I heard a tearing sound -- the sound of my ear drums ripping away from my ear canal -- and I nearly crumpled into a heap in the aisle from the pain. Ever since then, my eustachian tubes have been worthless. That's hyperbole too, because they've been worth more than nothing. They've done their job a little. All the time my ears are popping and cracking and if I don't consciously make them clear, I feel the pressure building in my head and I get a headache. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because every time I swallow, breathe, or even move an inch, they snap, crackle, and pop. It's like living with a bowl of Rice Crispies in my ears.

A month ago, I went to the doctor, finally. She listened to about two words and immediately "knew" the problem. She prescribed Allegra and Flonase. She prescribed the Flonase because I told her I prefer not to have the pms-like symptoms I get from antihistamines. She said I should try both of them and if I don't like the Allegra, I don't have to take it. It bugged me that she didn't really listen to me. But whatever. She said there were no signs that my ear drums had ever been ripped apart, so I guess that was good.

Unless I heard the pharmacy tech wrong, the generic form of Allegra was $35. So I said screw that and got Alavert instead, which is still mighty expensive. But at least it's OTC. I did both the Flonase and Alavert and the ear pressure problem didn't improve much. I still sometimes feel like ripping my own head apart to figure out what the hell is going on. I say "ripping my own head apart" despite the graphic nature of the phrase, to express how dire my situation is (once again, hyperbole).

If something doesn't change soon, I might start cutting myself or something weird like that. No really, little known fact, Van Gogh cut his ear off because he had the same problem with his eustachian tubes. In a fit of rage he did it, and then he didn't know what to do with the unattached ear so he sent it to his mean cousin.

That's totally made up for all you people who don't get sarcasm, the lowest form of humor (that's not sarcastic), so please don't start using that bit of false information about Van Gogh in your school reports.

To top it all off, now I have an ear infection. I went back to the doctor yesterday and got some antibiotics and explained that the last doctor's prognosis was either wrong or . . . nothing, her prognosis WAS wrong. I don't have allergies like I did before the Flonase (I stopped taking Alavert when I noticed it hadn't helped the popping and pressure headaches), but the eustachian tubes are still acting up.

Now I'm looking forward to spending $45 to see an ENT. Oh yeah. Honestly? If it finally fixes the problem, I will tell the doctor I love him/her and promise them my firstborn, who we all know shall be a genius.


Jodie K said...

And then they tell us to keep the Q-Tips out the ear, when all you want is to dig the crap out.

Puhlease! What else are Q-Tips used for?

Aries327 said...


But really, I enjoy a good ear-candling now and then. It's great fun.

Jodi said...

mmmm... sarcasm!

Aries327 said...

Ha ha. But really, I was serious about the ear candling. It really works!